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FDA approves first pill to help prevent HIV

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection, a milestone in the 30-year battle against the virus that causes AIDS.

The agency approved Gilead Sciences' pill Truvada as a preventive measure for people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV, such as those who have sex with HIV-infected partners.

Gilead Sciences Inc. has marketed Truvada since 2004 as a treatment for people who are infected with the virus.

But company studies have shown the drug can prevent people from contracting HIV when used as a precautionary measure. A three-year study found that daily doses cut the risk of infection in healthy gay and bisexual men by 42 percent, when accompanied by condoms and counseling.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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